In a battle of second against third, Old Merchant Taylors’ closed the gap on Grasshoppers with a crucial 20-3 victory in London NW3 on Saturday.

OMTs ended the day just a point behind their opponents in the table with a game in hand while Harrow remain at the summit with a six-point cushion at the top.

Peter Sinderberry put OMTs in front with a penalty after just four minutes of persistent pressure on the Grasshoppers line.

The hosts extended their lead soon after with a try by left winger David Johnson, who ran a strong line to score in the corner.

After 25 minutes, flanker Dan Conway added to the scoreline with a try, converted by Sinderberry to put OMTs 15-3 up at half-time.

With the wind but without the injured Sinderberry, OMTs came under pressure in the second half but defended resolutely. The forwards meanwhile, led by captain Tom Kenison, provided a strong platform for scrum-half Peter Trapp to disrupt Grasshoppers rhythm.

OMTs are away at Finchley this weekend.